Musée d'Orsay - The Train Station That Became an Art MuseumOne of the most impressive art museums in the world is dedicated to art from the second half of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century. The d'Orsay Art Museum (Musée d'Orsay) is located on the left bank of the Seine River in the 7th district of the prestigious area of Saint Germain. The museum has an impressive collection of art, including a variety of important and famous works from 1848 to 1914.
The spacious building now used as a museum was no less than a train station and a hotel in the past. During your visit you can still see the huge clocks used by the passengers and the floors remind you a little of the platforms that were once here. The transformation of the station into a museum began in 1977 and opened to the general public in 1986.
The museum also features sculptures, decorative art, photographs and furniture. You can see the works of the most important impressionist artists - Monet with "Women in the Garden", "Heaps of Hay" and "Poppies", Renoir's famous works such as "Dances in the Moulin de la Galette" and "The Bathers", some of Degas's sculptures of famous dancers and Mannes most important works, "Breakfast on the Grass" and "Olympia".
Do not miss the works of the amazing realist Krove, which will leave you stunned with your mouth open. Then continue to the Impressionist side - paintings that accurately reflected what eye sees.
As we continue to wander through the museum's parts, we arrive at the post-Impressionists part - those who rebelled and abandoned Impressionism in favor of establishing a new artistic language. Van Gogh, the father of expressionism, describes not only what exists in nature, but his moods and feelings, which are not only private and personal, and which embrace each other.
Creations Worth Looking at in the MuseumThere are many worthwhile creations in the museum, here are some of them:
Starry Night over The Rhone (Vincent van Gogh)Van Gogh's work was painted in 1888. It depicts the banks of the Rhone River in the city of Arles in France. The painting is drawn from a remote perspective, from the eastern bank of the river to the West Bank, which allows it to demonstrate the reflections of the street lighting (gas lamps) in the river, where the light points in the dark painting are stars, street lamps and their reflections in the river. In the painting you can see a pair of lovers strolling along the riverbank. The painting shows specific buildings in Arles, such as the church towers of Saint Julien and Saint Tropez.
Bal du moulin de la Galette (Pierre Auguste Renoir)Renoir painted this work twice - one big and one small. The large version can be found in the museum and the small one is currently in a private collection. The work depicts a dance of the bourgeois class, which takes place in Montmartre in Le Moulin de la Galette, on Sunday afternoons. The painting includes a large number of figures - some standing, some dancing and some sitting at tables. Above the group are trees that allow rays of sun to pass and illuminate the characters. The characters in the painting are cut off and therefore there is a sense that the scene is part of a larger event that takes place outside the boundaries of the picture.
Lunch on the Grass (Edouard Manet)Mana's oil painting depicts a naked woman beside two dressed men, dining in a garden in Paris in 1863. This was the first time female nudity in daily context was introduced in a painting, without any explicit social or political statement.
The Museum's BuildingThe Musée d'Orsay, considered one of the most impressive and popular museums in the world, is a magnificent architectural structure of metal and glass, which began its construction in 1898.
The museum was built where a train station used to be. The station was inaugurated in 1900, but due to a lack of compatibility with newer and more modern trains, it was only used for 40 years. The building was used for several decades for different needs, until in the mid-1970s when the entire building was designated for demolition. A modern multi-functional complex was planned to be built there, but due to the stubbornness of the French museum management, which discovered the potential inherent in the special building, a museum dedicated to art from the second half of the 19th century to the early years of the 20th century was created there.
In 1977, the decision was made and the railway station became an artistic lodge while preserving its outer shape. The museum opened to the public in 1986, and to this day, while utilizing the high spaces of the building, it presents neoclassical, romantic, impressionistic, realistic and other creations.
The ground floor is divided into three levels that present painting, sculpture and architecture.
On the second floor of the building are Impressionist works by a variety of painters.
The Story of the Striping ArtistIn 2016, the artist Deborah de Robertis from Luxembourg was arrested after lying naked in a museum, in front of the painting "Olympia" by Edouard Manet. The painting shows a naked woman lying in her full glory looking directly at the viewer's eyes. Behind the woman is a black maid. In those days, the exhibition "Luxury and Misery: Images of Prostitution 1850-1910" was presented at the museum, which dealt with the excitement of various artists in the phenomenon of prostitution that grew in the second half of the 19th century. Manet's painting caused turmoil at the time, ever since the first time it was presented in 1865. This is because the painting was very direct and daring for its time. He introduced a real prostitute and not a mythological figure, historical or religious - which was more common in the works of the time.
But the naked appearance of the striping artist, while many people were standing around the painting, awakened the museum guards, who closed the room and asked her to dress. Because she refused, the police were summoned and removed her from the place.
The artist's lawyer explained that she carried a camera in order to document the audience's reactions and that in fact it was a work of art. Despite the reputation that comes to France as a place that promotes free sex, cases from recent years indicate that there too, they find it difficult to accept such harsh provocations. After her release from prison, the artist said that the French reaction was hypocritical to her.